IPL 2021: England counties offer to host remainder of tournament
After the rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across four teams, the Board of Cricket Control India (BCCI) decided to suspend indefinitely IPL 2021. However, BCCI are looking for a window to resume the season, perhaps after hosting the T20 World Cup in October. Various options are being explored by the BCCI, the leader of the contingency being the United Arab Emirates.
According to ESPNcricinfo, a group of English counties have offered to host the remainder of the 2021 IPL season in September this year. MCC, Surrey, Warwickshire and Lancashire, respectively based at Lord’s, The Kia Oval (both in London), Edgbaston (Birmingham) and Emirates Old Trafford (Manchester), respectively, are among the group that wrote to the ECB inviting them to extend the opportunity to BCCI. If the BBCI accepts the offer, the tournament could be over in about two weeks in the second half of September.
The subject will likely be discussed at a virtual meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) of National Directors General which is scheduled for Thursday. The counties have also underlined that it will help top players play high quality cricket in the tough English conditions ahead of the T20 World Cup. India was supposed to host the T-20 World Cup in October. However, it seems uncertain that the tournament will go as planned. BCCI are said to have kept the UAE as a backup option for the World Cup.
The resumption of IPL 2021 has many complications and one of the biggest challenges is the existing schedule. The England-India test series ends in Manchester on September 14. After this round of testing, England is expected in Pakistan for the T20Is less than a month later, but the last two weeks of September are less busy than the others. Previously, reports suggest that Australia and the UAE are other options that could host the remaining games of IPL 2021.